A seventh grader from Calgary who stopped a bully from stabbing a classmate was reprimanded by the school for his act of bravery and sent home.

Briar MacLean told the National Post he was sitting in study class last Tuesday, when the bully began "poking and prodding" his victim.

Briar recalled seeing the bully putting his classmate in a headlock, and hearing the unmistakable "flick" of a pocket knife.

"I heard them say there was a knife," said the 13-year-old, who instinctively tackled the bully, prompting the teacher, who was on the opposite side of the room at the time, to take notice.

Briar thought he had done the right thing until three periods later when he was called into the vice principal's office to be reprimanded.

The boy's mother, Leah O'Donnell, was called and told that her son had been involved in an incident and was trying to "play hero."

She was further informed that Sir John A. Macdonald junior high school does not "condone heroics," and her son should have sought out a teacher instead.

"In the time it would have taken him to go get a teacher, could that kid’s throat have been slit?" O'Donnell recalled asking the vice principal. "She said yes, but that’s beside the point. That we 'don’t condone heroics in this school.'"

In the aftermath of the incident, the bully was suspended and Briar was sent home.

In a statement released after the story appeared on the front page of The Calgary Sun, the school's principal Michael Bester insisted Briar was not disciplined, but reiterated that he should have asked a teacher for help and that "it s not recommended that students intervene in incidents such as this to ensure their own safety."

[screengrab via Sun News]